Oct. 27, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior Josh Campoverde's first goal of the season lifted MIT to a 1-0 victory over visiting WPI on Saturday afternoon in each side's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season finale. The win pushed the Cardinal and Gray's final regular season record to 9-4-2 - including a remarkable 6-1-1 mark at home - while Worcester's version of the Engineers concluded their regular season schedule with a record of 3-13-0.
With a conference record of 2-2-2, MIT secured the No. 5 seed in the NEWMAC Men's Soccer Championship, and will travel to No. 4 seed Clark University on Wednesday evening, Oct. 31, at 6:00 p.m. The two teams were unable to decide a winner when they met during the regular season, as each earned a point in a 0-0 tie. WPI will be the No. 7 seed after finishing 0-6-0 within conference-play and will face No. 2 seed Babson College on the road, on Wednesday afternoon at a time that is yet to be determined.
MIT will enter the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the conference, as its gone undefeated in its last five matches, posting four wins and a tie.
The first half of Saturday's tilt produced numerous early chances for both teams, though neither squad was able to find a route to the back of the net. MIT out-shot WPI, 11-3, in the opening stanza, but was unable to capitalize, as sophomore goalkeeper Steve Hoffer made six saves to keep the game scoreless.
The game's only breakthrough occurred in the 65th minute and was set up by an extraordinary sequence of events in front of the WPI goalmouth. After a long corner kick was sent back into the box from the left side, sophomore midfielder Adam Talsma found himself with the ball at his feet 12 yards from goal. His initial blast rebounded off the post, only to find its way right back to his feet in virtually the same spot. Talsma's next effort was on target, but straight at Hoffer, who made the save but couldn't hold onto the ball. The rebound was finally tucked into the roof of the net by Campoverde, who celebrated his first goal of the season on a day when he was honored as one of eight seniors playing in the final regular season home game of their careers. Along with Campoverde, Paul Hoffman, James Zorich, Danny Perry, Mike Allshouse, Chris Desrochers, Saahil Mehra and Chase Lochmiller were all recognized in a brief pre-game ceremony.
Though the visitors made a desperate attempt to find a late equalizer, bolstered by the efforts of junior Ben Gilde, who led the team with three shots, they couldn't find a way through the MIT defense.
Hoffer finished with eight saves despite taking the loss, while junior goalkeeper Tom Caldwell made two saves to earn his career-high fifth shutout of the campaign. The mark of five shutouts in a single season is tied for the second-highest total in program history, while Caldwell's 10 career shutouts place him second all-time, behind only Morgan Mills, who kept 14 clean sheets between 2001 and 2004.